Four Saints Named to USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
DUBUQUE, Iowa - Four Dubuque Fighting Saints are among the United States Hockey League's top prospects that will showcase their skills to NHL scouts later this month. Forwards John Stevens and Peter Quenneville, defenseman Mike Downing, and goaltender Arthur Brey were selected to participate in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game presented by CCM at the L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon on January 23. 40 players from the USHL were chosen to play in the game.
All 16 teams in the USHL are represented in the event. Dubuque is one of five teams with four players chosen. Only the Waterloo Black Hawks have more players participating with five total. USHL General Managers, NHL scouts, and NHL Central Scouting conducted the selection of the 40 players.
"It is great so many of our players have been recognized throughout the league," said Dubuque Head Coach and General Manager Jim Montgomery. "It's a great honor, and those four players have been recognized for our team's work as a whole in the first half."
Stevens is in his first season with the Fighting Saints and has been one of Dubuque's most consistent scorers. The 6-foot-2, 184 lb. forward has tallied eight goals and 18 assists for 26 points through 29 games, good for third on the team in points. Stevens is committed to Northeastern University.
Quenneville has posted great numbers in his first season in the USHL after being named the MVP of the Alberta Junior Hockey League last season. With the Fighting Saints, Quenneville has scored an impressive 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 points, behind only Mike Szmatula (40 pts) for the scoring lead on the team. The Edmonton, Alberta native caught the attention of the hockey world earlier this season with an impressive goal at Green Bay that earned him front page attention on NHL.com. The 5-foot-11, 176 lb. forward is committed to Quinnipiac and was rated a C-List skater by NHL Central Scouting.
Downing is one of the USHL's top prospects and expected to be an early round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. NHL Central Scouting rated the native of Canton, Michigan an A-List prospect. The blueliner is in his second season with the Fighting Saints and has scored eight assists in 20 games this season, with a plus-7 rating, and 48 penalty minutes. Last season Downing scored four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in 54 games. Downing is committed to the University of Michigan and stands at 6-foot-3 and 194 lbs.
Brey has burst onto the scene this season for the Fighting Saints and has climbed to the top of the USHL leaderboard for goaltenders. Brey leads the league with a 15-3-1 record, and 2.01 goals against average. Brey has collected a .911 save percentage with one shutout. The Yorba Linda, California native stands at 6-foot and 155 lbs.
The NHL Draft takes place in June in New Jersey. Last season the Fighting Saints had two players, Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall, Buffalo) and Mike Matheson (23rd overall, Florida) selected in the first round of the NHL Draft. In total, six players with ties to Dubuque were selected in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and 28 players who skated in the USHL during the 2011-12 season were chosen. The USHL/NHL prospects game will allow this year's crowd of draft hopefuls a chance to showcase their skills with the hopes of having similar fortunes.
"The second USHL/NHL Top Prospects game promises to be an outstanding showcase of talent that USHL teams continue to develop for the next levels of hockey," commented USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince. "With so many of our young stars on the NHL watch list, and with the full attention of the National Hockey League, it promises to be a great night of hockey in Muskegon, and something all USHL fans should be anxious to see."
The Fighting Saints are at home this weekend for a pair of games. On Friday, January 4 the Fighting Saints host the Waterloo Black Hawks in Prairie Farms Cowbell Cup play at 7:35 p.m., and Saturday, January 5 the Fighting Saints take on Green Bay at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available for both games by calling 563.583.6880 or online at DubuqueFightingSaints.com.
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